Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Festival To Enter!

Black Maria Film + Video Festival

OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.


<!----------- STATEMENT -------------> MISSION & OBJECTIVE
Since 1981 the Black Maria Film + Video Festival has honored the creative foresight of Thomas Edison who, just over 100 years ago, along with other pioneers, introduced a potent, new universal mass medium: the motion picture. Its impact on traditional communication modes, aesthetics, and history was unprecedented, redefining conventional notions of time and space and transcending language barriers. It is the tradition of lively inquiry, innovation, open artistic exploration, independent vision, and illumination of the human condition that motivates the festival's work on behalf of contemporary film and video.

Moviemaker's Spring 2010 issue lists the Black Maria Film + Video Festival as one of "25 Film Festival Worth the Entry Fee in 2010."


Since 1981, the annual Black Maria Film + Video Festival, an international juried competition and award tour, has been fulfilling its mission to advocate, exhibit and reward cutting edge works from independent film and videomakers. The festival is known for its national public exhibition program, which features a variety of bold contemporary works drawn from the annual collection of 50 award winning films and videos.

Following a rigorous jurying process, the festival launches its national tour each January. Over 70 institutions welcome the Black Maria Festival, and each individual program is custom tailored, ensuring an accessible and meaningful experience for varied audiences at theaters, museums, colleges, libraries, film societies, microcinemas, and community organizations from coast to coast.

The Festival's roots are in New Jersey, where just over 100 years ago the inventor Thomas Edison developed motion picture technology at his West Orange lab facilities. One of these laboratories was the Black Maria, the world's first motion picture studio. It was a purpose built structure that had a hinged roof and rotated on a circular wooden track, allowing the studio to follow the sun and illuminate the stage within. A technological marvel for its day, the Black Maria is an artifact from the dawn of moving pictures, a medium which revolutionized human expression. Acrobats, strong men, vaudeville performers, actors and dancers (such as Annabelle Whitford whose artful Serpentine and Butterfly dances challenged late Victorian mores) and a spectrum of characters from all walks of life (including the great cowgirl sharpshooter, Annie Oakley) were invited to the Black Maria to be filmed.

Today the works exhibited by the Black Maria Film + Video Festival explore the human condition as well as the creative potential of the medium. They offer a mosaic of artistically conceived film and video forms (documentary, experimental, animation and narrative) but with an emphasis on cutting edge sensibility. The Festival Tour exhibits the winning works in various thematic and artistic configurations tailored to diverse audiences at venues which are conducive to the genuine appreciation of the work.

Individual programs vary in length (although most are approximately 90 minutes) and are curated from the award winners by experienced festival programmers in conjunction with representatives from the host institution. A festival curator travels to each venue to introduce and oversee the exhibition of the work and to facilitate audience discussion. Program booklets with descriptions of all the works available in the annual collection are provided to each audience member.

In addition to these programs, The Black Maria Film + Video Festival has recently begun a special collaboration with the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. Works which have been showcased in the seminar are considered for exhibition in the Black Maria and if accepted, are highlighted and arranged in special presentations.

In the past, the Black Maria was recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Award qualifying festival for short films (documentary, animation, and live action) and was awarded the New Jersey Governor's Award for Excellence in 2002 and the New Jersey State Council of the Arts Certificate of Excellence in 2003.
John Columbus (Festival Director) ; Kerrie Young (Program Associate/ Event Schedualing) ; Louis Libitz (Assistant Director)

The Festival imposes no restrictive categories but is simply seeking fresh, lively and/or exploratory works in any genre and which might illuminate the human spirit.

Works by and about people with disabilities are also welcomed.

Entry Formats:
The prefered submission format is DVD, regardless of the original production format. Although DVD is most often used for exhibition purposes, if needed works should also be available in their preferred release format: 35mm, 16mm, Super 8mm film, DVD or mini-DV (NTSC). For example, if a 16mm film is submitted on DVD, it might be helpful to have access to a 16mm print for some venues in the Festival Tour. Film prints must be mounted on a normal reel. Do not send film prints on cores!

Awards & Tour Honoraria/Stipends will be determined at the end of the Festival Tour.

Follow the link at the top or click here to enter.

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